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Full text of "Debate at the Lane seminary, Cincinnati. : Speech of James A. Thome, of Kentucky, delivered at the annual meeting of the American anti-slavery society, May 6, 1834. Letter of the Rev. Dr. Samuel H. Cox, against the American colonization society"

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Rev. Dr. S. H. COX. 






May 6, 1834. 





No. 11, Merchants' Hall. 


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The result of the great debate in the Lane Seminary, in relation to 
Slavery and the American Colonization Society, presents one of the no- 
blest exhibitions of the power of truth upon the hearts and consciences 
of man, that the world has ever witnessed. The letter of Mr. Stanton, 
giving the particulars thereof, is remarkable for its simplicity, ingenuous- 
ness, and moral excellence. The Rev. Dr. Beecher is the President of 
Lane Seminary ; and the institution itself is second in importance to no 
other in the United States. 

The speech of Mr. James A. Thome has made a very powerful impres- 
sion upon the public mind. This young gentleman is the son of a slave- 
holder in Kentucky ; and the attitude assumed by him, therefore, is truly 
sublime. The abominations of the slave system which he discloses, are 
of the most painful aud dreadful character, and clearly show that there 
is no other remedy for them than the immediate and utter overthrow of 

Great weight will be given to the Rev. Dr. Cox's letter, inasmuch as 
he is one of the most distinguished clergymen in this country, and was 
for many years the steadfast though mistaken advocate of a Society, 
which he now utterly repudiates. 

This pamphlet merits a wide circulation ; and it is hoped that the 
friends of bleeding humanity will assist by their means in putting it into 
every family. 


Lane Seminary, Walnut Hill, ) 
near Cincinnati, Ohio, March 10, 1334. $ 

Brother Leavitt — Many of your read- 
ers are undoubtedly interested in whatever 
concerns this rising institution. Therefore, 
I send you the following. Slavery and its 
proposed remedies — immediate abolition and 
colonization, have been subjects of occasion- 
al remark among the students, since the 
commencement of the late term (June). A 
flourishing Colonization Society has existed 
among us almost from the foundation of the 
institution. Our interest in these topics in- 
creased gradually until about the first of 
February, when it was resolved that we dis- 
cuss publicly the merits of the colonization 
and abolition schemes. At this time, there 
were but few decided abolitionists in the 
Seminary. The two following questions 
were discussed, separately : 

1st. " Ought the people of the Slavehold- 
ing States to abolish Slavery immediately ?" 

2d. '■'■Are the doctrines, tendencies, and 
measures of the American Colonization Socie- 
ty, and the influence of its principal sup- 
porters, such as render it worthy of the pa- 
tronage of the Christian public ?" 

Our respected faculty, fearing the effect 
the discussion would have upon the pros- 
perity of the Seminary, formally advised, 
that it should be postponed indefinitely. But 
the students, feeling great anxiety that it 
should proceed, and being persuaded from 
the state of feeling among them, that it 
would be conducted in a manner becoming 
young men looking forward to the ministry 
of the gospel cf reconciliation, resolved to 
go on. The President, and the members of 
the faculty, with one exception, were present 
during parts of the discussion. 

Each question was debated nine evenings 
of two hours and a half each ; making forty- 
five hours of solid debate. We possessed 
some facilities for discussing both these 
questions intelligently. We are situated 
within one mile of a slaveholding State ; 
eleven of our number were born and brought 
up in slave States, seven of whom were sons 
of slaveholders, and one of them was him- 
self a slaveholder, till recently ; one of us 
had been a slave, and had bought his free- 
dom, " with a great sum," which his own 
hands had earned ; ten others had lived more 

or less in slave States, besides several who 
had travelled in the midst of slavery, mak- 
ing inquiries and searching after truth. We 
possessed all the numbers of the African 
Repository, from its commencement, nearly 
all the Annual Reports of the Colonization 
Society, and the prominent documents of the 
Anti-Slavery Society. In addition to the 
above, our kind friends in the city, furnished 
us with Colonization pamphlets in profusion. 
Dr. Shane, a young gentleman of Cincin- 
nati, who had been out to Liberia, with a 
load of emigrants, as an agent of the Colon- 
ization Society, furnished us with a long 
statement concerning the colony ; and a dis- 
tinguished instructress, recently of Hartford, 
Connecticut, now of Cincinnati, sent us a 
communication from her hand, which at- 
tempted to prove, that Colonizationists and 
Abolitionists ought to unite their efforts, 
and not contend against one another. — 
These were our materials. And, sir, it was 
emphatically a discussion of facts, facts, 

The first speaker occupied nearly two 
evenings, in presenting facts concerning sla- 
very and immediate emancipation, gathered 
from various authentic documents. Conclu- 
sions and inferences were then drawn from 
these facts, and arguments founded upon 
them favourable to immediate abolition, dur- 
ing the two next evenings. Nearly four of 
the remaining five evenings were devoted to 
the recital of facts, in regard to slavery, 
slaves, and slaveholders, gathered, not from 
written documents, but from careful personal 
observation and experience. Nearly half of 
the seventeen speakers, on the evenings last 
alluded to, were the sons of slaveholders ; 
one had been a slaveholder himself; one 
had till recently been a slave ; and the resi- 
due were residents of, or had recently trav- 
elled or lived in slave States. From their 
testimony, the following facts and premises 
were established, to wit: That slaves long 
for freedom ; that it is a subject of very fre- 
quent conversation among them; that they 
know their masters have no right to hold 
them in slavery ; that they keenly feel the 
wrong, the insult and the degradation which 
are heaped upon them by the whites ; they feel 
no interest comparatively in their master's 
affairs, because they know he is their op- 
pressor ; they are indolent, because nothing 

they can earn is their own ; they pretend to 
be more ignorant and stupid than they really 
are, so as to avoid responsibility, and to shun 
the lash for any real or alleged disobedience 
to orders ; when inspired with a promise of 
freedom, they will toil with incredible alac- 
rity and faithfulness ; they tell their masters 
and drivers they are contented with their 
lot, merely through fear of greater cruelty 
if they tell the truth ; no matter how kind 
their master is. they are dissatisfied, and 
would rather be his hired servants than his 
slaves ; the slave-drivers are generally low, 
brutal, debauched men, distinguished only 
for their cruelty and licentiousness ; they 
generally have the despotic control of the 
slaves ; the best side of slavery is seen ; its 
darker features being known only to slaves, 
masters and drivers ; [upon this point, hor- 
rid facts, in regard to the whipping and mur- 
dering of slaves, were developed. God 
sparing rny life, they shall be given to the 
public] The state of morals among slaves, 
especially in regard to licentiousness, is 
sickening! This condition is attributable to 
the treatment they receive from their mas- 
ters ; they being huddled together from their 
infancy in small apartments without discrim- 
ination of sex ; and oftentimes being com- 
pelled to steal or starve ; the influence of 
slavery upon the physical condition, and 
mental and moral character of the whites, is 
decidedly and lamentably pernicious ; the 
internal slave trade is increasing, and is car- 
ried on by men distinguished, even among 
slave-drivers, for their cruelty and brutality ! 
No class in the country have stronger social 
affections, than slaves ; nevertheless, the 
ties of parent and child, husband and wife, 
brother and sister, are torn asunder by this 
bloody traffic. A husband has been known 
to cut his throat deliberately, because this 
damnable traffic was about to separate him 
from a wife whom he tenderly loved. The 
horrid character of Louisiana slavery, was 
developed in some degree by one who had 
resided there. The planters in that State, 
when sugar commands a high price, do not 
hesitate to kill a few of their negroes by 
overworking, if by that means they can bring 
more sugar into a favourable market ; in con- 
sequence of this, one of the usual prayers of 
the poor negro is, that sugar may be cheap. 
Multitudes of slaves are beinsf carried into 
that State from other slave States ; blacks 
are kidnapped from this State, (Ohio,) and 
sold into slavery ; slaves are decidedly hos- 
tile to Liberia, and only consent to go there 
to escape from slavery ; masters are general- 
ly opposed to their negroes being educated ; 
that the blacks are abundantly able to take 
care of, and provide for themselves ; and that 
they ivould be kind and docile if immediate- 
ly emancipated. These points, with many 
others equally important, were established, 

so far as a multitude of facts could establish 
them. On the two last points, the following 
was interesting and decisive. 

James Bradley, the emancipated slave 
above alluded to, addressed us nearly two 
hours ; and I wish his speech could have 
been heard by every opponent of immediate 
emancipation, to wit: first, that "it would 
be unsafe to the community ;" second, that 
"the condition of the emancipated negroes 
would be worse than it now is ; that they 
are incompetent to provide for themselves ; 
that they would become paupers and va- 
grants, and would rather steal than work for 
wages." This shrewd and intelligent black, 
cut up these white objections by the roots, 
and withered and scorched them under the 
sun of sarcastic argumentation, for nearly an 
hour, to which the assembly responded in 
repeated and spontaneous roars of laughter, 
which were heartily joined in by both Colon- 
izationists and Abolitionists. Do not under- 
stand me as saying, that his speech was de- 
void of argument. No. It contained sound 
logic, enforced by apt illustrations. I wish 
the slanderers of negro intellect could have 
witnessed this unpremeditated effort. I will 
give you a sketch of this man's history. He 
was stolen from Africa when an infant, and 
sold into slavery. His master, who resided 
in Arkansas, died, leaving him to his widow. 
He was then about eighteen years of age. 
For some years, he managed the plantation 
for his 7>iistress. Finally, he purchased his 
time by the year, and began to earn money 
to buy his freedom. After five years of toil, 
having paid his owners $655, besides sup- 
porting himself during the time, he received 
his " free papers," and emigrated to a free 
State with more than $200 in his pock- 
et. Every cent of this money, $855, he 
earned by labour and trading. He is now 
a beloved and respected member of this in- 

Now, Mr. Editor, can slaves take care of 
themselves if emancipated ? I answer the 
question in the language employed by broth- 
er Bradley, on the above occasion. " They 
have to take care of, and support themselves 
noio, and their master, and his family into 
the bargain ; and this being so, it would be 
strange if they could not provide for them- 
selves, when disencumbered from this load." 
He said the great desire of the slaves was 
" liberty and education." And shall this 
heaven-born desire be trampled in the dust 
by a free and Christian nation ? 

At the close of the ninth evening, the vote 
was taken on the first question, ivhen every 
individual voted in the affirmative except four 
or five, who excused themselves from voting 
at all, on the ground that they had not made 
up their opinion. Every friend of the cause 
rendered a hearty tribute of thanksgiving to 
God, for the glorious issue. 

At the next evening, we entered upon the 
discussion of the second question. Here, 
there was a much greater diversity of senti- 
ment. But we entered upon the debate not 
like blinded partizans, but like men whose 
polar star was facts and truth, whose needle 
was conscience, whose chart the Bible. 

The witnesses summoned to the stand, 
were the documents of the Colonization So- 
ciety. They were examined at great length 
and in great numbers. We judged it out 
of its own mouth. There was no paucity of 
testimony ; for, as I before observed, we had 
all its " Repositories," and nearly all its Re- 
ports and Addresses, in addition to which, 
we were benevolently furnished by friends 
with numerous collated witnesses, whom we 
of course had the privilege of cross-exam- 
ining. Notwithstanding the length of this 
part of the discussion, but two individuals 
spoke, one on each side, and another read 
some testimony in favour of the Colony. 
Several individuals at the opening of the de- 
bate, intended to speak on the affirmative, 
but before it was closed, they became warm- 
ly attached to the other side. Others were 
induced to espouse the cause of anti-Coloni- 
zationism, by examining documents of the 
Colonization Society, for the purpose of pre- 
paring to speak in the affirmative. Most of 
the Colonizationists loho expressed any opin- 
ion on the subject, declared their ignorance of 
the doctrines and 'measures of the Society un- 
til this debate. They cannot find words to 
express their astonishment that they should 
have been so duped into the support of this 
Society, as a scheme of benevolence to- 
wards the free blacks, and a remedy for sla- 
very. They now repudiate it with all their 
hearts. Is it not a fact that the great ma- 
jority of the supporters of this Society have 
never examined its doctrines, its tendencies 
and measures ? Do not nine-tenths of the 
Colonizationists with whom you come in 
contact, express incredulous surprise at the 
announcement of almost any one of its 
prominent doctrines, and meet you with the 
reply, "This cannot be so?" Is it not the 
"immediate" duty of such men (benevolent, 
and scrupulously honest, no doubt,) to ex- 
amine this subject ? 

I will state a fact. A member of this In- 
stitution was a member of the Oneida Insti- 
tute, during the Colonization debate held 
there last summer, and took an active part 
in that discussion. An anti-Slavery and a 
Colonization Society were the offspring of 
this debate. My worthy brother was placed 
at the head of the latter Society. He was 
a sincere friend of the negro, and what is 
quite as rare, was a consistent and practical 
man. About five months since, he left 
Oneida, and came to Lane Seminary. On 
his way hither, he took great pains to con- 
verse with every negro he could find about 

emigrating to Liberia. He talked with some 
thirty or forty, all of whom except one, were . 
incorrigible in their preference to remain in 
their native land, rather than to emigrate 
" home" to a foreign shore. This shook 
his faith in the entire practicability of the 
scheme. Still he arrived here, the warm 
friend of the Society ; and so continued, un- 
til this debate, in which he intended to have 
taken an active part. But before he had an 
opportunity to take the floor, facts pressed 
upon him, (he was always open to convic- 
tion,) he changed his views, became the de- 
cided opponent of the Society, has left the 
Institution for the purpose of commencing a 
school for the education of the people of 
colour in Cincinnati, and has devoted him- 
self to the elevation of the free blacks on 
our own soil, and to the making up of a 
public sentiment favourable to the abolition 
of slavery without expatriation. I would 
give you his name were it not that he is 
about to present to the public some interest- 
ing facts, bearing upon slavery and emanci- 
pation, which he has collected within a few 
weeks among the free people of colour, in 
Cincinnati, in the course of which he will 
probably allude to the facts stated above by 
me. This, sir, is what I call practical anti- 

At the close of the debate, the question 
was taken by ayes and noes, and decided in 
the negative with only one dissenting voice. 
Four or five who did not regularly attend the 
discussion, declined voting. Two or three 
others were absent from the Seminary. — 
When the debate commenced, [ had fears 
that there might be some unpleasant excite- 
ment, particularly as slaveholders, and pros- 
pective heirs to slave property, were to par- 
ticipate in it. But the kindest feelings pre- 
vailed. There was no crimination, no de- 
nunciation, no impeachment of motives. And 
the result has convinced me that prejudice is 
vincible, that colonization is vulnerable, and 
that immediate emancipation is not only 
right, and practicable, but is "expedient." 

The result has convinced me of another 
thing, which I hail as the bright bow of prom- 
ise to this holy cause. It is that southern 
minds, trained and educated amidst all the 
prejudices of a slaveholding community, can, 
with the blessing of God, be reached and in- 
fluenced by facts and arguments, as easy as 
any other class of our citizens. To be sure, 
they will not endure blind and unintelligent 
denunciation ; and what rational being will ? 
But after being thoroughly aroused by facts, 
they will receive rebuke, remonstrance, and 
entreaty, if kindly offered, with that frank- 
ness and honesty which have ever marked 
the southern character. And when thor- 
oughly converted, they manifest an ardor in 
behalf of the deeply injured black, which 
astonishes while it deli"-hts. Almost all of 


our southern brethren are engaged in color- 
ed Sabbath schools and Bible classes. Some 
of them have devoted their lives in doing 
good to that oppressed race. Let me state 
one or two facfs on this point. The son of 
a slaveholder has just left the institution on 
account of ill-health, with a determination 
that he will not cease his efforts until his pa- 
rent is induced to liberate his slaves. An- 
other said, until this debate, he had ever con- 
sidered slaveholding right, but now, being 
convinced it was wrong, he should exert an 
influence accordingly. Another entered this 
institution last spring the owner of two 
slaves. Having been taught to look upon 
slavery as a necessary evil and not a sin, he 
hired out his slaves where they would re- 
ceive kind treatment, intending that the pro- 
ceeds of their labor should aid him in his 
preparations for the ministry. Towards the 
close of the last session, facts were pressed 
upon his conscience, his duty was pointed 
out, he saw it, returned home to Kentucky, 
liberated his slaves— and now, instead of 
their working to educate him, he is workiug 
and studying, and educating them. I need 
not add, that, on this occasion, he took the 
side of immediate abolition, and anti-coloni- 
zation. This, sir, is what I call practical 
'immediate emancipation.' 

It is the. decided opinion of our brethren 
from the slave states, that if the plan of ab- 
olition proposed by the friends of that meas- 
ure, could be kindly spread out before the 
southern community, and the entire practica- 
bility of the scheme illustrated and enforced 
by existing facts, slaveholders would embrace 
it as the only rational remedy for slavery, and 
would come over to the cause of immediate 
emancipation in 'Crowds. They have some- 
how got the opinion that abolition is an infu- 
riated monster, with a thousand heads and 
ten thousand horns, panting after blood, and 
ready to gore to death every slaveholder in 
the Union. _ And is it wonderful that they 
should receive this impression, when we con- 
sider the tone of the Colonization journals 
of the north ? Our southern fellow-citizens 
should be disabused on this vitally interesting 
subject. Depend upon it, the people, (I speak 
not of politicians,) the people of the south 
are not devoid of reason. I know that facts 
and reasoning have prevailed with them : and 
until truth loses its power, they loill contin- 
ue to prevail, overcoming prejudice, reach- 
ing the conscience, and changing the mind. 
I am acquainted with intelligent gentlemen 
residing in this country, not professing Chris- 
tians, who are intimately acquainted with 
slavery in all its details, having lived many 
years in slaveholding states, who on princi- 
ples of political economy, are the decided ad- 
vocates of immediate emancipation. Look 
at the facts as they exist in this seminary. 
Every member of this institution who was 

born and brought up in the midst of slavery, 
or who now resides in a slave state, with one 
exception, is the advocate of immediate abo- 
lition without expatriation. [The opinion of 
one who was absent from the seminary du- 
ring the debate, I do not know.] There has 
been no necromancy employed in this work. 
Prayer, the Bible, the condition of the slave, 
and the documents of the Colonization Soci- 
ety, have been the instruments. When a 
brother resolved to use these means faith- 
fully, we had no anxiety as to the result. 
Would not the use of these measures by 
every Christian in the land work wonders in 
the American church? Alas! how few 
Christians have prayed over, and talked 
about, and examined a system which crushes 
into the dust two millions of their brethren 
and sisters, and consigns them over to op- 
pression, to caprice, to lust, to brutality > to 
ignorance, to degradation, to death, to dam- 
nation. I thank God that the night of torpor 
is past in this institution ; that prejudice has 
been buried in a dishonored grave, and that 
the persecuted blacks, bond and free, have a 
place in our sympathies, our prayers, and our 

Some important facts in regard to the 
character of emancipated negroes, and their 
ability to provide for themselves, have re- 
cently fallen under my observation in the 
city of Cincinnati. A large majority of the 
adult blacks in that city, are liberated slaves. 
Many of them earned with their own hands 
and paid six hundred, nine hundred, and some 
nearly fourteen hundred dollars for them- 
selves individually, for themselves and their 
families. The majority of these have like- 
wise acquired considerable property since 
their liberation. Many of them have already 
purchased their friends out of slavery ! — and 
it is probable that at least one third of the 
adult blacks in this city, are employed in 
earning money to buy their friends and rela- 
tives now in slavery. And this too is accom- 
plished under peculiar embarrassments, heap- 
ed upon them by the oppressive laws of this 
state. They hold a debating society for mu- 
tual improvement every week. A lyceum 
in which lectures will be delivered two or 
three times a week, and male and female 
schools, are being established among them 
by abolitionists of the institution. Many of 
them meet in Bible classes, and Sabbath 
schools. And yet, these industrious people, 
have to be constantly on the alert to avoid 
being kidnapped, and sold into slavery, to 
supply the New-Orleans market ! It has 
several times happened to these persecuted 
people, after partly paying the ra7isom of 
their relatives, that the master has sold the 
objects of their toil to slave-traders, who 
have carried them into hopeless bondage. 
This was the case recently in regard to a 
wife, whose husband had paid in part for her 

freedom, and was laboring in this county to 
earn the residue. The master sold her for 
the New-Orleans market! A grand-mother 
had redeemed her daughter, and several 
grand-children, out of slavery. Only one 
fittle girl remained, and the stipulated sum 
for her liberation had neariy all been paid. 
Disregarding his solemn pledges, the master 
sold the child to a man who was about to re- 
move out of the state (Kentucky.) Distract- 
ed, the grand-mother went to the former 
master and entreated him with tears, either 
to re -purchase the little girl, or refund the 
money she had paid him. He would do 
neither. With much effort, she succeeded 
in borrowing a sum sufficient to purchase 
her at full price of the latter master, while 
the former retained his ill gotten lucre. This 
transpired within three weeks. But why 
need I go on ? Who will heed the cry of 
the oppressed? My soul sickens as I ponder 
over these legalized cruelties. Is it surpri- 
sing that these persons do not rise higher in 
the scale of wealth, intelligence and respec- 
tability ? Pressed down as they are by the 
whites, under such a load of prejudice, and 
civil and educational disabilities — and liable 
to be kidnapped and sold into slavery, is it 
not surprising that they rise at all ? It is lit- 
erally true, that they stint themselves in 
food and clothing, and go bare-headed and 
bare-footed, so that they may appropriate 
their earnings to the purchase of relatives in 
bondage. Noble spirits ! An emancipated 
slave said to me to-day, '■'Even freedom is bit- 
ter to us, while our friends are in slavery ! 
And shall we make the present degradation 
of the free blacks, which is the work of our 
oion hands, the premises from which to draw 
the conclusion, that ' they can never rise in 
this country,' and therefore, ' it is benevolent 
in us to transport them to a foreign shore 
where they can escape ' our ' persecutions ?' 
It is easier to estimate the benevolence of the 
argument, than to discover its soundness. 

This evening, we formed an Anti-Slavery 

Yours in the gospel, 


Of Kentucky, 

Delivered at the first anniversary of the American 
Anti-Slavery Society in the City of New York. 
May 6, 1834. 

Mr. James A. Thome, of Kentucky, a dele- 
gate from the Anti-Slavery Society of Lane 
Seminary, was introduced to the meeting, 
and moved the following resolution: 

Resolved. That our principles commend them- 
selves to the consciences and interest of slave- 
holders ; and that recent developements indicate 
the speedy triumph of our cause. 

Of the truth of the first proposition con- 
tained in this resolution, that our principles 

commend themselves to the consciences and 
interest of slaveholders, I have the honor to 
stand before you a living witness. I am from 
Kentucky. There I was born and wholly 
educated. The associations of youth and 
the attachments of growing years ; preju- 
dices, opinions and habits forming and fix- 
ing during my whole life, conspire to make 
me a Kentuckian indeed. More than this ; I 
breathed my first breath in the atmosphere of 
slavery ; I was suckled at its breast and dan- 
dled on its knee. Black, black, black was 
before me at every step ; the sure badge of 
infamy. The sympathies of nature, even in 
their spring tide, were dried up ; compassion 
was deadened, and the heart was steeled by 
repeated scenes of cruelty and oft-taught 
lessons of the coloured man's inferiority. 

What shall I say is the result either of 
experience or of personal observation. 

Abolition principles do take strong hold of 
the conscience and of interest too. Permit 
me to say, sir, I was for several years a 
member of the Colonization Soeiety. I con- 
tributed to its funds and eulogized its meas- 
ures, and now, though I would not leave my 
path to attack this Institution, yet duty bids 
me state, solemnly and deliberately, that its 
direct influence upon my mind was to lessen 
my conviction of the evil of slavery, and to 
deepen and sanctify my prejudice against 
the coloured race. 

But, sir, far otherwise with abolition. — 
Within a few months residence at Lane 
Seminary, and by means of a discussion un- 
paralleled in the brotherly feeling and fair- 
ness which characterized it, and the results 
which it brought out, the great principles of 
duty stood forth, sin revived, and I died. 
And, sir, though I am at this moment the 
heir to a slave inheritance, and though, for- 
sooth, I am one of those unfortunate beings 
upon whom slavery is by force entailed, 
yet I am bold to denounce the whole system 
as an outrage, a complication of crimes and 
wrongs, and cruelties that make angels weep. 
This is the spirit which your .principles in- 
spire. Indeed, I know of no subject which 
takes such strong hold of the man as does 
abolition. It seizes the conscience with an 
authoritative grasp ; it runs across every 
path of the guilty, haunts him, goads him, 
and rings in his ear the cry of blood. It 
builds a wall up to heaven before him and 
around him ; it goes with the eye of God, 
and searches his heart with a scrutiny too 
strict to be eluded. It writes "thou art 
the man," upon the forehead of every op- 

It also commands the avenues to the hu- 
man heart, and rushes up through them all 
to take the citadel of feeling. All the sym- 
pathies are its advocates, and every suscep- 
tibility to compassionate outraged humanity 
stands pledged to do its work. 


Will you permit me to state some of the 
vantage grounds upon which we stand in the 
public discussion of this question ? 

1. The duty of the slaveholder. The duty 
of the slaveholder: what a weapon! a host 
in itself! sure as the throne of God, and 
strong as the arm of God. It is untrue that 
this consideration loses its force in slave 
States. It is the power of God there and on 
this subject, as it is elsewhere, and on every 
other. Facts are daily occurring which 
show that when every other motive fails, 
this is efficient. It is a libel upon the West- 
ern character, to say that duty there must 
bow before expediency; and this miserable 
policy will soon be visited with a just re- 
buke from the people it has slandered. 

2. Again. The sufferings of the slaves. 
It is well known that in Kentucky, slavery 
wears its mildest features. Kentucky slave- 
holders are generally ignorant of the cruel- 
ties which are practised further South, and 
on this score are little aware of the bearings 
of the system. Those good matter-of-fact 
patriots, who call such recitals " the poetry of 
philanthropy," and who in the South have the 
control of the press, have studiously refrain- 
ed from instructing the public on this point. 
A noble expedient this, to close the ear of 
the oppressor against the wail of the op- 
pressed. But it will not avail. The voice 
of their lamentations is waxing louder, and 
it ivill he heard. Sir, is it not unquestiona- 
ble that slavery is the parent of more suffer- 
ing than has flowed from any one source 
since the date of its existence ? Such suf- 
ferings too! Sufferings inconceivable and 
innumerable ; anguish from mind degraded; 
hopelessness from violated chastity ; bitter- 
ness from character, reputation and honour 
annihilated ; unmingled wretchedness from 
the ties of nature rudely broken and destroy- 
ed, the acutest bodily torture in every mus- 
cle and joint; groans, tears and blood ; lying 
forever in perils among robbers, in perils in the 
city,in perils in the wilderness, in perils among 
false brethren, in weariness and painfulness, 
in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in 
fastings often, in cold and nakedness." 

What ! are these our brethren ? And 
have we fattened, like jackalls, upon their 
living flesh ! Sir, when once the great prop- 
osition that negroes are human beings, a 
proposition now scouted by many with con- 
tempt, is clearly demonstrated and drawn 
out on the Southern sky, and when under- 
neath it is written the bloody corollary, the 
sufferings of the negro race, the seared con- 
science will again sting, and the stony heart 
will melt. 

But, brethren of the North, be not de- 
ceived. These sufferings still exist; and 
despite^the efforts of their cruel authors to 
hush them down, and confine them within 
the precincts of their own plantations, they 

will, ever and anon, struggle up and reach 
the ear of humanity. 

A general fact; though I would by no 
means intimate that Kentucky slaveholders 
are themselves free from cruelty: far from 
it! yet I have found, in narrating particular 
cases to them, as evident expressions of 
horror and indignation as men ordinarily feel 
in other sections of our country. Such facts 
have their effect upon them. 

3. Licentiousness. I shall not speak of 
the far South, whose sons are fast melting 
away under the unblushing profligacy which 
prevails. I allude to the slaveholding West. 
It is well known that the slave lodgings, I 
refer now to village slaves, are exposed to 
the entrance of strangers every hour of the 
night, and that the sleeping apartments of 
both sexes are common. 

It is also a fact, that there is no allowed 
intercourse between the families and ser- 
vants, after the work of the day is over. 
The family, assembled for the evening, enjoy 
a conversation elevating and instructive. — 
But the poor slaves are thrust out. No ties 
of sacred home thrown around them ; no 
moral instruction to compensate for the toils 
of the day ; no intercourse as of man with 
man ; and should one of the younger mem- 
bers of the family, led by curiosity, steal out 
into the filthy kitchen, the child is speedily 
called back, thinking itself happy if it es- 
cape an angry rebuke. Why this? The 
dread of moral contamination. Most excel- 
lent reason ; but it reveals a horrid picture. 
The slaves, thus cut off from all community 
of feeling with their master, roam over the 
village streets, shocking the ear with their 
vulgar jestings, and voluptuous songs, or 
opening their kitchens to the reception of 
the neighbouring blacks, they pass the even- 
ing in gambling, dancing, drinking, and the 
most obscene conversation, kept up until the 
night is far spent, then crown the scene with 
indiscriminate debauchery. Where do these 
things occur ? In the kitchens of church 
members and elders ! 

But another general fact. After all the 
care of parents to hide these things from 
their children, the young inquisitors pry 
them out, and they are apt scholars truly. 
It is a short sighted parent who does not 
perceive that his domestics influence very 
materially the early education of his chil- 
dren. Between the female slaves and the 
misses, there is an unrestrained communica- 
tion. As they come in contact through the 
day, the courtezan feats of the over-night 
are whispered into the ear of the unsuspect- 
ing girl, to poison her youthful mind. 

Bring together these three facts. 1st. That 
slave lodgings are exposed, and both sexes 
fare promiscuously. 2d. That the slaves 
are excluded from the social, moral and in- 
tellectual advantages of the family, and left 

to seek auch enjoyments as a debased appe- 
tite suggests. And 3d. That the slaves 
have free interchange of thought with the 
younger members of the family ; and ask 
yourselves what must be the results of their 
combined operation. 

Yet those are only some of the ingredi- 
ents in this great system of licentiousness. 
Pollution, pollution ! Young men of talents 
and respectability, fathers, professors of re- 
ligion, ministers, all classes! Overwhelm- 
ing pollution ! I have facts ; but 1 forbear 
to state them; facts which have fallen un- 
der my own observation, startling enough 
to arouse the moral indignation of the com- 

I would not have you fail to understand 
that this is a general evil. Sir, what I now 
say, I say from deliberate conviction of its 
truth ; let it be felt in the North, and rolled 
back upon the South, that the slave States 
are Sodoms, and almost every village family 
is a brothel. (In this, I refer to the inmates 
of the kitchens, and not to the whites.) And 
it is well. God be blessed for the evils 
which this cursed sin entails. They only 
show that whatever is to be feared from the 
abolition of slavery, horrors a hundred fold 
greater cluster about its existence. Heap 
them up, all hideous as they are, and crowd 
them home ; they will prove an effectual 
medicine. Let me be understood here. — 
This pollution is the offspring of slavery ; 
it springs not from the character of the ne- 
gro, but from the condition cf the slave. 

I have time merely to allude to several 
other considerations. 

4. The fears of slaveholders. These af- 
ford strong evidence that conscience is at 
work. In the most peaceful villages of Ken- 
tucky, masters at this time sleep with mus- 
kets in their bedrooms, or a brace of pistols 
at their heads. 

5. Their acknowledgements. The very 
admissions which they make for the purpose 
of silencing their growing conviction of 
duty, may be successfully turned upon them. 
They almost unanimously say that slavery is 
a great evil ; that it is abstractly wrong ; 
yet there is no help for it: or their slaves 
are better off than they are ; or, or, or. 

Now, be they sincere or insincere, out of 
their own mouth we can condemn them. I 
met, the other day, in travelling a short dis- 
tance on the Ohio river, with a good illus- 
tration of the manner in which these admis- 
sions are made. It is also a pretty faithful 
exhibition of the uneasy, conscience-struck 
spirit which is beginning to pervade Ken- 
tucky. The individual was a citizen of that 
State, and a slaveholder in it. He was free 
in conversation on the subject of slavery. 
He declared in the outset that slavery was 
wrong ; a most iniquitous system, and ought 
to be abolished. Quite a point gained, 

thought I, and I proceeded very confidently 
to the application. But I soon found that 
my friend had deserted his position. • " The 
old dispensation, sir; what d'ye think of 
that ? Did'nt Abraham hold slaves ? and be- 
sides, what does Paul say ?" 

You perceive he was a Christian, sir ; 
quite orthodox withal. 

Soon again he returned to his post, and 
asserted as roundly as before, the wicked- 
ness of slavery. " Wrong, totally wrong ! 
I would free all my slaves if — but — O, tell 
me, sir, were not the Jews permitted to hold 
slaves because they were a favored people ; 
and are not we a favored people ? Abra- 
ham, Paul, the old dispensation ;" and thus 
he rung the changes, stung - on the one hand 
by a guilty conscience, and met en the other 
by opposing selfishness. It may be said, 
this man was not intelligent. He was unu- 
sually so on every other subject. 

6. Safety of emancipation. On this point, 
the slaveholder is more than ignorant ; he is 
deplorably misinformed. Who have been 
his counsellors, judge ye. It is remarkable 
what a unanimity of sentiment prevails on 
this subject. 

You would suppose that they had long 
been plied with stories of butchered parents, 
murdered children, and plundered houses. 
This might be discouraging if the short his- 
tory of emancipation did not furnish us with 
so many conclusive facts. With these facts 
you are quite familiar ; and yet there is no 
objection more common than the dangers, 
the dangers of emancipation. Travel in 
slaveholding States, and talk with masters, 
and you will find, in a great majority of 
cases, they will point to St. Domingo, and 
exultingly say, "Behold the consequences 
of your measures." 

7. Slaveholders are not so inaccessible as 
they are thought to be in the North. There 
is a strong degree of excitability in the char- 
acter of our Southern brethren, it is true ; 
but this is not all. There is reason too, and 
common sense, and conscience. 

I, for one, beg leave to enter my decided 
protest against those friendly representa- 
tions of the Southern character, which have 
been made to scare away abolitionists, and 
prolong a guilty repose. Unless I read 
amiss, assertions are repeatedly made to 
this effect ; that argument, in the South, has 
no weight ; that truth, facts, experience are 
all inefficacious ; that slaveholders have no 
conscience, no heart, no soul, no principle, 
nothing but selfishness, that they are bois- 
terous and passionate when you speak of 
the rights of man, and you must beware — 
soft! delicate matters ! Sir, 1 repudiate 
these sentiments. They are as groundless 
as they are insulting. Let them strike with 
all their force against certain wordy orators 
of the South, whose arguments are powder 


and balls, but they illy fit those worthy citi- 
zens whose voice consiitutes public sen- 

The slaveholder, if rightly approached, 
exhibits all the courtesy for which the South 
is noted. I have conversed with many, and 
scarcely know an instance to the contrary. 
No indignation, no- rage, no fierce indica- 
tions of hostility. I lately had opportunity 
to converse with several intelligent families, 
in a small village of Kentucky. The state 
of feeling was truly gratifying. Many in- 
quiries were made concerning the principles 
of abolitionists. Some were anxious to 
know the plans of operation, others express- 
ed themselves in very unexpected terms. 
Said one, "I am decidedly opposed to the 
spirit of the Colonization Society." Said 
another, "I am determined to emancipate 
my slaves just so soon as circumstances, 
now without my control, will permit." 

8. Kentucky. I have already made fre- 
quent allusions to Kentucky. The spirit 
which is beginning to prevail there, though 
not a fair representative of the state of the 
public mind in other slave States, is to be 
hailed, on other grounds, as constituting no 
small item in our account. Colonization, 
which, like the Hindoo goddess, with smiling 
face and winning air, grasps in her wide em- 
brace, the zeal of the church and the benev- 
olence of the world, and, pressing them to 
her bosom, thrusts them through witli the 
hidden steel. Colonization has indeed done 
its mournful work in Kentucky. 

[Sir, perhaps I owe an apology to this 
house, for such frequent allusions to the 
Colonization Society. This is my apology. 
I know its evils, and can lay my finger on 
them one by one. I knoio the individual 
slaves who are now in bondage by its influ- 
ence alone. I know the masters whose only 
plea for continuing in the sin, is drawn from 
its doctrines. I know, and therefore have I 
spoken. Many of its friends I reverence ; 
they are worthy men. But the tendencies 
of the system I know to be pernicious in the 

But the state is rising above this influence. 
Conscientious citizens are forming them- 
selves into other associations. Many hold 
this language: "Slavery stands in opposi- 
tion to the spirit of the age, to the progress 
of human improvement ; it cannot abide the 
light of the nineteenth century." The Leg- 
islature has taken up the subject. The spirit 
of inquiry is abroad. "Kentucky is rapidly 
awakening." She should now fill up the eye 
of abolitionists ; for if she were induced to 
take a stand with you, her example would be 
of incalculable worth. 

These are some of the results of a life 
thus far spent in the midst of slavery ; less 
than this I could not prevail upon myself to 
say. The design of these statements has 

been to encourage you in your holy enter- 
prise, inasmuch as they show that your prin- 
ciples do take strong hold of the consciences 
and interest of slaveholders. 

Now, sir, the great object of my presence 
here, is to urge upon you an appeal for re- 
newed effort on the behalf of the slave. 
The question has been asked here, and re- 
peated in the South, "what has the North 
to do with slavery ?" At present she has 
every thing to do with it, every thing. Will 
you please bear in mind three considera- 
tions. 1st. We have no abolition paper in 
the West or South. 2d. Your, principles 
have been grossly misrepresented, and mis- 
understood. 3d. You have effected incred- 
ible things already. 

With regard to the first fact I only say, 
with shame, there is no editor in the Valley 
who is willing to hazard his living by estab- 
lishing an abolition press. 

2d. I can give you but a faint idea of the 
notions which are entertained of abolition 
principles and men. Recklessness, false 
estimate of right, fanaticism, Quixotism, sub- 
limated austere bigots, incessantly harping 
upon abstract principles, incendiaries, offi- 
cious intermeddlers, arrant knaves, who 
would break up all well ordered society, set 
every slave at his master's throat, and enjoy 
the massacre with infinite delight ; outlaw- 
ed renegades who, having themselves no in- 
terest at stake, would bankrupt the honest 
planter, and most horrifying of all, introduce 
a general systen of amalgamation. Notions 
so monstrously perverted, have not been 
caught up at hap-hazard, but most faithfully 
instilled by the timorous cautionists of our 
day. But from what source soever they may 
have come, they clamor for correction, imme- 
diate correction. It is of immense importance 
that the public mind should be disabused by 
a faithful presentation of facts. 

Under all these disadvantages you are do- 
ing much. The very little leaven which 
you have been enabled to introduce is now 
working with tremendous power. One in- 
stance has lately occurred within my ac- 
quaintance, of an heir to slave property ; a 
young man of growing influence, who was 
first awakened by reading a single number 
of the Anti-Slavery Reporter, sent to him 
by some unknown hand. He is now a whole 
hearted abolitionist. I have facts to show 
that cases of this kind are by no means rare. 
A family of slaves in Arkansas Territory, 
another in Tennessee, and a third, consist- 
ing of eighty-eight, in Virginia, were suc- 
cessively emancipated through the influence 
of one abolition periodical. 

Then do not hesitate as to duty. Do not 
pause to consider the propriety of interfer- 
ence. It is as unquestionably the province 
of the North to labour in this cause, as it is 
the duty of the church to convert the world. 



The call is urgent ; it is imperative. We 
want light. The ungodly are saying, " the 
church will not enlighten as." The church 
is saying, " the ministry will not enlighten 
us." The ministry is crying " Peace — take 
care." We are altogether covered in gross 
darkness. We appeal to you for light. 
Send us facts ; send us kind remonstrance 
and manly reasoning. We are perishing 
for lack of truth. We have been lulled to 
sleep by the guilty apologist. O tell us, if 
it be true that our bed is a volcano. O, roll 
off the Colonization incubus which is crush- 
ing us down and binding us hand and foot 
Show us that "prejudice is vincible," that 
slavery is unqualifiedly wrong, and strip us 
of every excuse. Come and tell us what 
shocking scenes are transpiring in our own 
families under the cover of night. Go with 
us into our kitchens and lift up the horrid 
veil ; show us the contamination, as it issues 
thence and wraps its loathsome folds about 
our sons and daughters. 

Nay, tell us if indeed these miserable be- 
ings are themselves our sisters and brothers, 
whom we have buried alive, with our own 
hands, in corruption. Point us, with painful 
exactness, to the forehead, from which God's 
image is well nigh effaced, to the soulless 
eye, to the beast-like features, the leaden 
countenance and the cowering air, and tell 
us " That is the immortal mind in rui?is." 
Repeat the sufferings of the slave, the stripes, 
the cruel separation, the forlornness of the 
friendless slave, and flash upon us the truth, 
" thy brother, thy brother !" 

Sir, we have sympathies yet alive within 
us, we have feeling. The great deep of our 
hearts, though it has long been calm, may 
be moved, and it will be broken up by such 
stirring facts. 

You hear the appeal of the South; can 
you resist it ? You will not. The work is 
yours ; your heart is in it. Move onward, 
and soon the triumph will be yours. 

None but God can stay your course, and 
God is with you. 

-***©®® ■*•- 




Ethiopia [the people of Cush] shall soon stretch 
out her hands unto God. — Psalm lxviii. 31. 

Having ieft America a sincere friend to 
the cause of the American Colonization So- 
ciety, I continued sincerely to advocate its 
merits, and to defend its principles, wherev- 
er I went. For this there was no want of 
occasion. Beyond all my anticipations, the 
opportunity and the necessity of such advo- 
cacy were constantly obtruded ; till at last, 
I almost felt unwilling to go into any mixed 
company, because of the frequency with 
which the finest spirits that I met there never 

failed to encounter me ; and sometimes in a 
way that consciously overmatched me. I 
was chiefly impressed with the following 
things, in all the argumentation I witnessed ; 
first, the astonising zeal, and sensitiveness, 
and avidity to speak in public and private, 
which they evinced ; second, the novelty and 
extravagance of their positions in favour of 
universal emancipation, and the thorough- 
going extent to which they boldly drove 
them, fearless and inexorable in what they 
viewed as right and obligatory ; third, the 
character of the men who were the chief- 
tains of the argument ; they were the most 
excellent, and exalted, and lovely persons, 
in the realm, so far as I had any means of 
judging ; and fourth, the extent to which the 
influence of these principles had gone, in 
pervading and leavening the mass of the 
people, in England, Ireland, [and Scotland, 
especially as evinced in kindred antipathy to 
the cause of the American Colonization So- 
ciety. It will not be wrong to name such 
persons as Dr. Morison of London, Professor 
Edgar of Belfast, and |Dr. Heugh of Glas- 
gow. When such men opposed me in de- 
bate, with all the zeal of reformers, with 
much of the light of argument, and more of 
the love of piety, it was impossible that I 
should not feel their influence. Still, I re- 
plied with perfect conviction, and ordinarily 
with as much success as eould have been ra- 
tionally expected. There was one point, 
however, where I always showed and felt 
weak. It related to a question of fact. Are 
not the free negroes of your States, espec- 
ially at the North, almost universally oppos- 
ed to the project of Colonization? My an- 
swer was, no, at least I think not. That 
the point was a cardinal one, I always per- 
ceived ; for the Society has to do with the 
free alone ; and, by its constitution, express- 
ly, with their own consent ; as I think the 
words are. Besides, if it were any part of 
the scheme to expatriate to Africa, without 
their own consent, it would be plainly a na- 
tional society of kidnappers, and no one 
could honestly advocate it for an instant. 
Says the Hon. Mr. Frelinghuysen, in his re- 
cent defence of the Society, as one of its 
earliest and ablest advocates ; "the demon- 
stration has been made that the African is 
equal to the duties of a freeman. His mind 
expands as his condition improves." And 
again ; " It should not be forgotten, that the 
Society treats alone with the free, and for 
freedom's sake. If our coloured brethren 
prefer to remain among us, let them, with 
our hearty good will. We compel no reluc- 
tant submission to terms. Their welfare has 
prompted these labours of the Society. It 
possesses neither the power nor the disposi- 
tion to constrain consent." These senti- 
ments of the Honourable Senator, are obvi- 
ously right in ethics and in facts. The So- 

— L 


ciety negotiates alone with the free, for the 
sake of freedom ; will use no restraint to ob- 
tain their consent ; and would abhor the 
thought of proceeding without it. Precise- 
ly such were my positions and replies to our 
trans-atlantic brethren. Then came the 
question of fact : Have you their consent ? 
Here I could not answer satisfactorily to 
myself or them. Our opinions were direct- 
ly opposed. They had evidence too, which 
I could not answer, that the free negroes of 
this country were so generally opposed "to it, 
and that with great decision, as to constitute 
the rule in spite of all exceptions, and so in 
effect to nullify the pretensions and even the 
existence of the Society. I admitted that, 
if this were so, the Society was stopped in 
its career by the lawful and appropriate veto 
of the people themselves ; and here gener- 
ally my mind uneasily rested, after every 
concussion of sentiment. In this mentally 
labouring condition, I returned to my native 
country, purposed to take no public attitude 
in the matter, until that prime question was 
ascertained and settled. In this, I have been 
guilty of no rashness at all. I have with- 
stood party influences, and committed my- 
self to no side ; and in avowing now a change 
of sentiment in the whole affair, I am actu- 
ated mainly by a wish to apprise my breth- 
ren across the ocean, of what I deem the 
truth, that so I may undo whatever I did 
improperly while among them. My inves- 
tigations have issued in a complete convic- 
tion that, on this ground alone, the non-con- 
sent or unanimous opposition of the colour- 
ed people of this country, especially of the 
Northern States, and pre-eminently of the 
better informed of them, the Society is mor- 
ally annihilated. At all events, I can advo- 
cate it no longer. More : if I had known 
the facts as they might have been known 
long ago, I never should have advocated the 
Society ; and it is quite probable that many 
others in this country are in exactly the same 
predicament. Among other means influen- 
tial of this change, I have had several inter- 
views and conferences with the Rev. Messrs. 
Cornish, and Wright, and Williams, of this 
city, singly and together ; whose testimony 
is entirely one, is perfectly firm, and has 
never changed, on the question. The re- 
spectability of these brethren is indisputa- 
ble ; but alas! their skins are not as fair, 
nor their hair as straight as ours ; and thence, 
"for such a worthy cause," their remon- 
strances have been disregarded or preclud- 
ed. In this wrong, I confess myself to have 
participated. They did remonstrate, like 
men, like Christians, and with a sagacity in 
the matter of- their own interests in which 
our whiter philanthropy has been, I fear, far 
inferior to theirs. The last of the triumvi- 
rate, is a clergyman in communion with the 
Episcopal church of this city; the others, 

are of my own denomination, and member* 
of the Presbytery of New York. They are 
all three intelligent and worthy brethren, 
possessing the Christian esteem and confi- 
dence of all who know them. Thousands 
can give a hearty testimony to their pru- 
dence, forbearance, calmness, and correct- 
ness of procedure in all things. They have 
no wild schemes or reckless views ; and 
while my heart has bled at their recitals, it 
has secretly glorified God in them, in view 
of the excellent spirit they evince under 
privations and trials of a sort, that few of 
their white brethren could endure for a mo- 
ment. Having made special inquiries, and 
received answers as definite, I shall insert 
here a letter from the Rev. Mr. Cornish, 
which will speak for itself. 

New-York, Dec. 4, 1833. 

Rev. and dear Sir. — Esteeming you as one of the 
warmest friends of our injured people, and mind- 
ful of the deeds of your abolition sires, 1 beg to 
present to you an objection to the scheme of Co- 
lonization, which you may not have sufficiently 
weighed- It is — 


A few months after the organization of the Soci- 
ety in 1317, the colored citizens of Philadelphia, 
with James Forten in the chair, protested against 
its principles; predicted its unhappy influence; 
and appealed to the community in behalf of their 
rights. Besides, the first public Journal ever is- 
sued by the colored citizens of this republic, (with 
which Journal 1 had the honor of being connect- 
ed.) entered its equal protest against Colonization; 
showing what we deemed the injustice of legisla- 
ting away our rights — our claims to a country we 
had bled to redeem and sweated to cultivate, with- 
out making us a party, or allowing us a voice in the 
legislation, or giving us any proper representation 
in the discussions. These things will appear by 
the accompanying documents. 

Subsequent to that time, in every eity and town 
in our country where the colored people are per- 
mitted to assemble, they have always entered their 
solemn protest against colonization, as a system of 
proscription and cruelty. This is surely an objec- 
tion to the plan : and though there are many others 
equally tangible at my fingers' ends, it is the only 
one with which I will at present trouble you. O 
think on us ! 

I am. dear Sir, in bonds of tenclerest affection. 

Rev. Dr. Cos, New- York. 

The documents to which Mr. Cornish al- 
ludes are quite sufficient and conclusive in 
establishing the point. His letter may be 
considered as the voice of the colored peo- 
ple universally. There can be no question 
that it tells the truth ; and if so, I see no 
course left for me but to abandon the Socie- 
ty. There are other objections to it, as my 
correspondent says. But at present, I will 
urge no other than the one in evidence. It 
is cardinal, conclusive, and conquerable 
neither by logic nor sophistry. If it be said, 
they may be convinced yet in its favor: I 
reply, that fact will prove itself whenever it 


occurs. To me it now appears about as like- 
ly as that they are not men, or that God has 
not "made of one blood all nations of men 
to dwell on all the face of the earth." If it 
be said, they might have been convinced, if 
they had not been influenced by abolitition- 
ists ; I reply, there is no evidence of this ; 
and for one, I utterly disbelieve it ; suppos- 
ing the other side exposed to the true and 
obvious retort, that few or none would ever 
have consented to go, if they had complete- 
ly understood the matter, and if fair means 
only had been used by all parties to concili- 
ate their willingness. Let us suppose our- 
selves in their condition, with all our boasted 
superiority of sense ; is it very likely that we 
would consent — to a moral prejudice against 
us ; to a proscription resulting from it ; to ex- 
patriation as its fruit ; to a denial of our na- 
tivity in the place of our birth, calling us 
Europeans or Africans, though actually born 
in America ; to a banishment from the land 
of our present affections to a climate that 
kills us ? Impossible \ One might be made 
indeed, as a choice of evils, to prefer it on 
the principle of a greater evil for that pur- 
pose erected against us here , but properly 
"with our own consent," never, while we 
belong to the species ! 

From one of the documents referred to, 
in Mr. Cornish's letter, I make the following 
extracts. It is a sermon preached by the 
Rev. Mr. Williams, Rector of St. Phillip's 
Church on the fourth of july, 1830. 

" The festives of this day serve but to im- 
press upon the minds of reflecting men of 
color, a deeper sense of the cruelty, the in- 
justice, and oppression, of which they have 
been the victims. While others rejoice in 
their deliverance from a foreign yoke, they 
mourn that a yoke a thousand fold more 
grievous, is fastened upon them. Alas! 
they are slaves in the midst of freemen ; 
they are slaves to those, who boast that free- 
dom is the inalienable right of all ; while the 
clanking of their fetters, and the voice of their 
wrongs, make a horrid discord in the sonars of 
freedom which resound through the land." 

"No people in the world profess so high 
a respect for liberty and equality, as the peo- 
ple of the United States ; and yet no people 
hold so many slaves or make such great dis- 
tinctions between man and man." 

Speaking of himself and his auditors as 
freemen, Mr. Williams proceeds, as follows : 
"But alas! the freedom to which we have 
attained is defective. Freedom and equality 
have been "put asunder." The rights of 
men are decided by the color of their skin ; 
and there is as much difference made be- 
tween the rights of a free white man, and a 
free colored man, as there is between a free 
colored man and a slave." 

Of the Colonization Society, Mr. Williams 
says ; " Far be it from me to impeach the I 

motives of its members. The civilizing and 
christianizing of that vast continent, and the 
extirpation of the abominable traffic in slaves 
— which, notwithstanding all the laws pass- 
ed for its suppression, is still carried on in 
all its horrors — are no doubt the principal 
motives, which induce many to give it their 

" But there are those, and those who are 
most active and influential in its cause, who 
hesitate not to say, that they wish to rid the 
country of the free colored population ; and 
there is sufficient reason to believe that with 
many this is the principle motive for support- 
ing that Society ; and that, whether Africa is 
civilized or not, and whether the slave-trade 
be suppressed or not, they would wish to see 
the free colored people removed from this 
country to Africa." 

After arguing handsomely and well against 
removal, Mr. Williams observes : 

" We are natives of this country : we ask only 
to be treated as well as foreigners. JSiot a few 
of our fathers suffered and bled to purchase its in- 
dependence ; we ask only to be treated as well as 
those who fought against it. We have toiled to 
cultivate it, and to raise it to its present prosperous 
condition; we ask only to share equal privileges 
with those, who come from distant lands to enjoy 
the fruits of our labour. Let these moderate re- 
quests be granted, and we need not go to Africa, 
nor any where else, to be improved and happy. 
We cannot but doubt the purity of the motives of 
those persons who deny us these requests; and 
who would send us to Africa to gain what they 
might give us at home. 

" But alas ! the course which they have pursued, 
has an opposite tendency. By the scandalous mis- 
representations, which they are continually giving 
of our character and conduct, we have sustained 
much injury and have reason to apprehend much 

" Without any charge of crime, we have been 
denied all access to places, to which we formerly- 
had the most free intercourse. The coloured citi- 
zens of other places, on leaving their homes, have 
been denied the privilege of returning; and others 
have been absolutely driven out. 

" Has the Colonization Society had no effect in 
producing these barbarous measures ? 

'• They profess to have no other object in view, 
than the colonizing of the free people of colour on 
the Coast of Africa, with their own consent. But 
if our homes are made so uncomfortable that we 
cannot continue in them; or if, like our brethren 
of Ohio or JNew Orleans, we are driven from them, 
and no other door is open to receive us but Africa, 
our removal there will be any thing but voluntary. 

" It is very certain, that very few people of col- 
our icish to go to that land. The Colonization 
Society know this ; and yet they do certainly cal- 
culate, that in time they will have us all remov- 
ed there. 

"How can this be effected, but by making our 
situation worse here, and closing every other door 
against us V 

These are but extracts from a sermon 
which is an honor to the head and heart of 
its author. Here then I take my position, 
not to be moved by the common arguments 
that array their poverty against it. The 
colored people of this country, as a whole 



?ind almost to a man, are utterly opposed to" 
the system ; and this alone, if there was no 
other objection to colonizationism, appears 
to me conclusive and invincible. 

There are other objections, however, to 
that project. As a remedy for the evil of 
slavery in this country, it is incommensurate 
and puny, compared with the extent and in- 
cessant growth of the evil. Whatever may 
be the comprehension of the rainbow and 
the beauty of its coloring, it is insubstantial 
and evanescent ; and whatever the elegance 
and the promise of the theory, the beau 
ideal of the system, its practical operation, 
or rather its practicability, is a work of cen- 
turies even in the calculations of its friends 
— and at the end of centuries, to say the 
least, there is no certainty of its triumph. 
Meantime, the floods are collecting behind 
the weak embankments, that must inevitably 
break away before the gathering pressure. 
There is a catastrophe preparing for this 
country, at which we may be unwilling to 
look, but which will overtake us not on that 
account the more tardily or tolerably. We 
do not say there is no remedy — but only that 
the colonization remedy is ludicrously inad- 
equate ; in effect trifling with the communi- 
ty, till the time of preventing " the overflow- 
ing scourge " from passing through the land 
shall have irrevocably passed away. I shall 
offer no proof to a man who cannot himself 
see or feel the truth of the proposition, or 
demonstrate it at his leisure, that the project 
in question, as a remedy for the slavery of 
this country, is folly or mockery unparalleled. 
It is like self-righteousness, tasking its own 
resources for a remedy against moral thral- 
dom, while it rejects the mediation and at- 
tonement of Jesus Christ. But if the sys- 
tem as a remedy is contemptible; and, as 
opposed to the deliberate veto of the free 
colored people of this country, forbidden, by 
its own constitution and the consciences of 
Christians ; then other objections become 
formidable that were vincible and weak be- 
fore. Still, it seems to me that the system 
tends to blind the eyes of the nation to the 
actual condition of things ; to prevent the 
prosperous action of the only true remedy ; 
to harden the hearts of the good against the 
claims of God on behalf of our colored 
brethren ; to inspire the creation or imagina- 
tion of motives, to induce the consent of the 
free to emigrate ; to withhold from the heart 
the resources of its own pity and kindness, 
towards those who choose to remain ; to take 
from ourselves the proper motives that Avould 
otherwise actuate our Christian philanthropy, 
in meliorating the condition of the colored 
people of this country ; to make us think 
that their universal expatriation from our 
shores — little matter where — is the grand 
ultimate desideratum of the whole concern ; 
to induce us to blame them for deliberately 

choosing to remain ; and to beget a state of 
public sentiment and a course of public ac- 
tion, in which selfish expediency shall take 
precedence of eternal equity, and invite the 
interposition of wrath from heaven to clear 
our perceptions and recover us to wisdom. 

We are horribly prejudiced, as a nation, 
against our colored brethren ; and are on 
this account the wonder and the scandal of 
all good society in Europe. They are per- 
fectly amazed at it— and every American 
who goes there is ashamed to own the facts 
of it, as they disgracefully are. Says Mr. 
Williams ; But they tell us that "the preju- 
dices of the country against us, are invinci- 
ble : and as they cannot be conquered, it is 
better that we should be removed beyond 
their influence. This plea should never pro- 
ceed from the lips of any man, who profess- 
es to believe that a just God rules in the 
heavens." I add — or any man, who believes 
in the power of religion, or the efficacy of 
"the glorious gospel of the blessed God." 
These prejudices are not as hard or as bad, 
as the prejudices of millions of sinners 
against God himself, from which, as streams 
from the fountain, all these other prejudices 
against his ci - eatures — for whom Jesus Christ 
died, perpetually flow. I do not believe a 
word of such a libel on man and God com- 
bined, that prejudices of cruelty, against 
reason, nature, and religion, are not to be 
eradicated. It is plainly and preposterously 
false. We degrade them, and then exclaim 
at their degradation. 

But some will say, you are leading us to 
amalgamation. I reply, that consequence is 
disallowed ; and yet its objection to our ar- 
gument, may be generally viewed as nothing 
better than a grand impertinence. Acknowl- 
edge and advocate the proper rights of the 
colored man ; who is now ordinarially a black 
man among us whites, no more ; choose your 
own company, and allow him the same priv- 
ilege ; and for one I believe that amalgama- 
ED. At present, it is a process of accelerating 
forces. In some districts where there are 
many colored people, there are no blacks; 
the progress of mulattoizing is rapidly con- 
forming them to the standard aspect of free- 
men; while the ratio of their increase, is 
fearfully and palpably greater, and this in- 
creasingly, than that of the whites. This is a 
prodigiously interesting point of the gene- 
ral subject ; but we proceed not now to its 

What is the remedy? I answer — the 


love of Christ ; producing in us its appro- 
priate fruits, " without partiality and without 
hypocrisy ; " striving to elevate them men- 
tally, morally, and religiously ; surrendering 
our cruel prejudices; recognizing in them 
the identity of the human species, and the 


rights of men, as " by nature free and equal " 
universally ; and seeking, in every possible 
way, to enlighten and correct public senti- 
ment respecting them ; not by ferocity or 
denunciation, or epithets of coarse crimina- 
tion; but by wisdom, argument, kindness, 
firmness, Christian example, and prayer to 
Almighty God, who " executeth righteous- 
ness and judgment for all that are oppress- 
ed." These are the only means that I pro- 
pose to use ; and what cannot be done by 
them, I will not do. But be it here the motto 
of the good — what ought to be done can 
be done. To doubt this, and despair, or do 
nothing, is quite unworthy of a Christian. 
God is beginning wonderfully to act for Af- 
rica. The signs of the times are quite in- 
telligible. They are striking and glorious. 
The public sentiment of Christendom is mit- 
igating and increasing in their favor; it is 
becoming stimulated and enlightened ; it will 


melt down the icebergs of prejudice, and 
proclaim to the sable captives of all lands, in 
the inspiring language of Montgomery : 
Thy chains are broken ! Africa, be free ! 
When will men learn that the way to 
make others better, is to treat them gene- 
rously and kindly ? How is it that, God ac- 
complishes our sanctification? "God so 
loved the world — in this was manifested the 
love of God toward us, because that God 
sent his only begotten son into the world, 
that we might live through him. Herein is 
love, not that we loved God, but that he 
loved us, and sent his son to be the propitia- 
tion for our sins. Beloved, if God so 


another." Let these principles enlighten 
the eyes and pervade the hearts of our whole 
people. — the whites, towards their colored 
brethren of the species, "for whom Christ 
died;" let their proper and spontaneous 
fruits be seen abounding among us — and the 
work is done, or it begins its efficient advan- 
ces immediately, in our national community. 
Will any man say, these principles never can 
predominate in the bosoms of the whites ? 
Why — are the whites so degraded ? Darker 
in spirit, than the others in body ? And is it 
a Christian, who has ascertained that their 
ascendency is impossible ? Ah ! cannot God 
give them currency and triumph? Who 
converted him — if indeed he is converted, 
whose unbelief is barbarous and blind enough 
to limit the resources of Omnipotence, in 
spreading the victories of " grace and truth " 
through the earth ? We wish to do nothing 
in the way of violence ; to perpetrate no 
breach of the constitution of our country 
against the South ; to do nothing against their 
will, or even to denounce them : but remem- 
bering that "THE WEAPONS OF OUR WAR- 



respect our white brethren at the South ; vre 
will show unto them " a more excellent way ;'* 
we will remind them of the necessity or 


case ; we will compare theories, with free- 
dom and frankness, and examine all their ar- 
guments as well as entreat them to examine 
ours ; we will deal iu facts, axioms, texts of 
Scripture, inferences, and kindness ; we will 
appeal to the intelligence of the South, to 


to their piety of which they are by no means 
destitute, and their hopes in one for the pres- 
ent and the future world. We will beg 
leave fraternally to discuss the morality of 
matters with them. We will raise questions 
of expediency, necessity, and political econ- 
omy, in the case. We will perhaps canvass 
their objections, and beg them to look as 
well at ours. We will not blame them for 
the legacy they have received from their an- 
cestors, but only warn them of that they are 
about to bequeath to their posterity. We 
will admit their plea of innocence, as to the 
original sin that introduced slavery to our 
country ; but question it as to " the innume- 
rable actual transgressions," in which they 
may be in danger of "filling up the measure 
of their fathers." We may interrogate thena 
as to their own present agency in perpetua- 
ting a system, which, whoever started it at 
first, it may be impolicy and iniquity in them 
not to arrest, and supersede by a better. 
We may show them the current of the por- 
tentous river, in its flood, now comparatively 
young and fordable ; and urge them immedi- 
ately to cross it while they may, lest their 
tardiness may be visited with ruin inundating 
and inevitable. We may try to demonstrate 
that no man will do right and remain subor- 
dinate, but as the result of enlightened and 
principled consciousness as an accountable 
being ; that in order to this, he must be 
brought to know himself to be what God has 
made him — a moral agent, and so to own 
and feel his personal and perfect responsibil- 
ity!; that responsibility without liberty can- 
not be felt, because proportionately it cannot 
exist; that if the codes of State legislation 
at the South are all revolutionized by their 
constituted authorities, so as to invest the 
colored people universally with the rights 
and the duties of freemen, with the liberties 
and the responsibilities of other men, they 
would be legally manageable, in case of any 
misrule, as now they are not, while the mo- 
tives to honest industry, frugality, order, and 
correct behavior in all things, would instant- 
ly become powerful, as they never could be, 
in a state of abject vassalage and deep dis- 
franchisement, such as at present defines 
them ; and that at all events, whatever the 
South and the West may do or refuse to do,, 
the Christians of the North and the East will 
aim at their dutv in benefittinsr their colprpri 

— L- 


brethren universally, as they " have opportu- 
nity, especially them that are of the house- 
hold of faith" — that their example may 
illustrate their doctrine and throw the purity 
of its light on distant and different sections 
of our national empire. If the North and 
the East were only connected and united in 
sentiment, and at the same time represented 
by calm and considerate and truly compre- 
hensive persons, in a way of dignified and 
luminous conference with the Southrons, in 
the matter of their peculiar and of our re- 
lated interests, might we hope for no result- 
ing good ? By the blessing of Jehovah, we 
might expect and achieve every thing — and 
slavery might be extirpated forever from the 
nation it dishonours. 

I assume it as practically certain that the 
blacks and the whites, or the African and 
European races of men, are to exist together 
on this continent — till the morning of the 
resurection ; and also that slavery cannot co- 
exist with the desecendants of these two 
races, cannot exist at all, much longer. It 
must certainly be destroyed — and we all 
know that. I am happy here to adopt, with 
little qualifying, the sentiments of my amia- 
ble friend, the Rev. Mr. Gurley, the distin- 
guished Secretary of the Colonization Soci- 
ety. In his able letter to Henry Ibbotson, 
Esq., of Sheffield, England, he thus declares 
himself: "I do not hesitate to acknowledge, 
that my hope of the peaceful abolition of sla- 
very in this country, rests mainly upon the 
moral and religious sentiments of my coun- 
trymen. This I believe to be inconsistent 
with the' permanency of the system. If in 
any other land slavery can be perpetual, it 
cannot be perpetual here. As well might 
the iceberg remain undissolved amid the 
sunny tropics, as this system long remain 
amid the kind and gentle influences that are 
here working its destruction. The spirit and 
principles of our government, the precepts 
of our holy religion, and the general feelings 
of our people at the South, as well as at the 
North, are against it as a permanent system. 
But it must be abolished by and not against, 
the will of the South. All, or nearly all 
Americans, cherish the desire and expecta- 
tion that it will one day be abolished." 

Yes ! and that day will be hastened, just 
about as fast as correct public sentiment is 
seen to predominate, causing the bloodless 
victories of righteousness, accelerating the 
blessed triumphs of mercy. "Lord, what 
wilt THOU have me to do ?" is the ques- 
tion, which every soul of us ought, in the 
premises, heartily to agitate at the throne of 
grace ; and sincerity, uttering such a faith- 
ful prayer, would be certainly directed from 
on high ! He is forever the same God, who, 
in a case really analogous, said to Moses 
from the burning bush ; "I have surely seen 
the affliction of my people which are in 
"Kjrvpt. and have heard their cry by reason of 

their taskmasters ; for I know their sorrows, 
and I am come down to deliver them. Now, 
therefore, behold, the cry of the children of 
Israel is come unto me ; and I have also seen 
the oppression wherewith the Egyptians op- 
press them." O what iniquity does He wit- 
ness in our country ! 

Is it worth while gravely to prove that 
they are human beings and that the human 
race is identical? No! but it may be, to 
refute that common blunder, found some- 
times even among the learned, that the curse 
of servitude is pronounced upon them to all 
generations, by the oracles of God. Gen. 
ix. 25. That curse demonstrably no more 
applies to them than to us ! " Cursed be Ca- 
naan : a servant of servants shall he be unto 
us brethren." For the sin of Ham, the 
youngest son of Noah, that great progenitor 
pronounced a curse on Canaan, the youngest 
son of Ham. Now Ham had four sons ; 
" Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan." 
Gen. x. 6. The curse was not on all of them, 
but on Canaan alone. But Canaan remain- 
ed an Asiatic, and was the only one of the 
four who did not settle in Africa. It was 
his posterity whom Joshua, and Saul, and 
David, and others successively subdued in 
Asiatic Palestine ; reduced to servitude ; thus 
explaining and executing the curse. Miz- 
raim was the planter of the Egyptians ; Phut, 
of the tribes to the north-west of Africa, as 
the Lybians and Mauritanians ; and Cush — 
is the father of the great negro world, the 
ancestor of our colored people, against whom 
no such curse is recorded ; disappointed as 
it may make some pious worthies, whose 
strongest motives for persecuting the Jews 
and enslaving the Africans, is merely for fear 
the Scripture s will not otherwise be compe- 
tently fulfilled ! Let us honestly answer then- 

How was Wilberforce opposed and ridicu- 
led at first! insulted and maligned by those 
that now build his sepulchre and assist in 
consecrating even his fume ! Through what 
formidable obstructions did he force his way, 
and hold the right, and carry his cause, till 
the throne felt the reach of his eloquence, 
and the cottage responded to its manly elu- 
cidation. It was however, not the orator but 
the argument, not the man but the cause that 
electrified the nation and convinced the world. 
The cause of equity is the cause of God. It 
is also the cause of man, of human nature 
universally. Its attributes are eternal. It 
is anchored in the nature of things. It 
will infallibly prevail. It can be retarded 
only by sophistry, prejudice, a perverse self 
interest, the volo of cupidity, or the veto of 
determined pride. But even these are vul- 
nerable, and they bleed ; they are mortal, 
and they die. If they are opposed to God, 
God is opposed to them. And "if God be 
for us, who can be against us?" Let us 
"thank God, and take courage." 


[a parable for the carolinas.] 
* To the Princes and Lords of Egypt, in Senate assembled : 

1 The petition of the undersigned, being free citizens of the 
3and of Zoah, sheweth — 

' That we, your petitioners, are all honorable and just men, 
and as much attached to the religion and institutions of the land 
as any class of Pharaoh's subjects. 

' That your petitioners, on the faith of compacts, have em- 
barked all their property in building Pyramids. 

' That your petitioners verily believe that the building of 
Pyramids cannot be carried on at all by free labor. 

' That, therefore, your petitioners were induced, according to 
the law of nations, to make slaves of the Hebrew shepherds. 

' That the state of slavery is the most congenial to the He- 
brew intellect, and rank in existence — and that their state in 
slavery is infinitely superior to their former starving and perish- 
ing state in the land of Canaan. 

' That if your petitioners had no motives of humanity, yet 
that from motives of interest and profit, they would look after 
the health and comfort of their slaves, as much as the proprietors 
of any other cattle would look after their herds in the land of 

' That the slaves like their situation well, and would remain 
perfectly satisfied with their easy and comfortable condition, 
were it not for the officious meddling of a gang of canting hypo- 
critical missionaries, and a junta of despicable saints in the 
Senate, headed by the upstart Moses. 

' That the slaves, though they much love their present state, 
are, some of them, exceedingly stubborn — and others, run away 
from their work — and that, therefore, your petitioners are obliged 
to brand them in order to know them, and also to use a scourge 
and a goad in order to keep them at their work — but, generally 
speaking, the scourge and the goad are rather the insignia of 
power in the drivers than instruments of cruelty. 

1 That your petitioners hear with horror and indignation of an 
unjust and iniquitous requisition of emancipating the Hebrew 
slaves totally and immediately, which your petitioners cannot 
contemplate without shuddering at such a gross violation of 
vested rights. 

' That your petitioners beg permission to declare, temperate- 
ly but firmly, that if this clamor about the Hebrew slaves shall 
be continued, we your petitioners will oppose it with force and 
arms, and will declare ourselves independent. And your peti- 
tioners shall ever pray, and dissolve the union.' — New- York